Actinic Keratoses Treatment Clinic London

Affecting 1 in 5 people in the UK, actinic keratoses are very common and caused by exposure to the sun. Although they are usually harmless, a small proportion can progress to become skin cancer and actinic keratoses are therefore generally treated. They can also be itchy or sore and many people feel embarrassed by their appearance. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. Dr Daniel Glass and his team are professional dermatologists based on London’s Harley Street, trained to treat a wide range of skin conditions including actinic keratoses.

About actinic keratoses

Actinic keratoses (AK) are small areas of thickened skin, often with a scaly surface, that are often pink or red in colour. Sometimes, they can appear raised and resemble crusty outgrowths. They tend to develop after the age of 40 and occur on parts of the body often exposed to sunlight. This includes:

  • Face
  • Scalp
  • Ears
  • Hands
  • Lower legs

You are more likely to be affected by AK if you have fair skin and are prone to sunburn. If you have an AK that rapidly changes in size or appearance or begins to bleed, seek medical advice immediately as it could be progressing towards a type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.

Treating actinic keratoses

With AK, there is a small risk of progression to skin cancer so it’s always advisable to get it treated by a qualified dermatologist as soon as possible. Even though they are usually harmless, you might choose to have treatment to improve the appearance of your skin and boost your confidence.

Treatments at The Dermatology Clinic include:

  • Topical creams – We may recommend this treatment if you have a large number of AK.
  • Daylight photodynamic therapy
  • Cryotherapy – you can also have your AK ‘frozen off’ using liquid nitrogen. This is a dry contact and doesn’t take long. The cold temperature used in this treatment can sometimes cause a burning sensation, however this should subside over time as the skin begins to heal.
  • Excision or curettage – this is a surgical procedure used for thicker lesions that wouldn’t be treated by the above methods. It is also used if there is a suspicion that the lesion in question has become a form of skin cancer. We perform this treatment under local anaesthetic, but will only advise it for you if you have thicker, raised patches of AK or suspected skin cancer.

All of these options are highly effective, but the team at The Dermatology Clinic may invite you for further review and treatment, as AK can re-occur on the surrounding skin as a result of previous sun damage.